5-12.1 Rationale

People with mobility, dexterity, cognitive, or visual impairments, who rely on assistive technologies, often confront barriers when using electronic forms. The Postal Service and its many government and commercial business partners use electronic forms in software or Web applications to gather information or permit employees and customers to access services, benefits, or employment. People with disabilities who use assistive technologies must be able to access, complete, review, revise, and submit all parts of an electronic form to use it successfully (e.g., filling out an electronic shipping label).

When electronic forms are designed to be completed within a software application (including a Web–based application), the form must allow people using assistive technologies to access the information, controls (i.e., input fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, or push buttons), and functionality required to complete, review, revise, and submit it, including all directions and cues. The two primary characteristics of an effectively coded accessible form are that (1) the form provides programmatic and user–visible textual information about inputs and controls (i.e., they are labeled and named), and (2) the form can be completed using keyboard equivalents. Forms with these two primary characteristics will likely be usable by people who use assistive technology or who rely on the keyboard to use their system.